Heritage Brass Quintet to perform in Newark
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 21:04
Enrolling in the military does not necessarily mean enrolling as a soldier on the ground, as some people enroll in the military as musicians such as the five members of the Heritage Brass Quintet who will perform in Newark tonight.
The Heritage Brass Quintet, part of the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band, will perform a free concert at Newark High School at 7 p.m.
The quintet is composed of five artists including Master Sgt. John Cisar, the trombone player, Technical Sgt. Jonathan Rattay and Staff Sgt. James Lantz, the trumpet players, Senior Airman Emily Britton, the French horn player and Airman First Class Colby Fahrenbacher, the tuba player. Each artist played different genres of music before becoming part of the quintet, though none sing.
“Traditionally there is no singing in the brass band although we do play very lyrical music,” Lantz said.
The concept of a United States Air Force Band became prominent during World War II when Glenn Miller enlisted in the army with his entire band and toured Europe and Asia performing music for the troops, Cisar said. The current United States Air Force Band is based on the Second World War’s model.
The United States Air Force band program is composed of a large band with about 60 members, Lantz said. This larger band is divided into 10 smaller bands, which are then divided in smaller groups that perform different genres of music such as rock, jazz and brass.
“Every Air Force band has 25 to 30 people in it,” Cisar said. “These people are then divided to play in four to five different groups.”
Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Joe Spadafino, 50, said the quintet reached out to them saying they would be in the Newark area so the city organized the concert.
This is the first time the Heritage of America Band will perform in Newark, Spadafino said.
“They perform 300 events a year but we have been told by several people that they are great,” Spadafino said.
On Tuesday night, the quintet will play different songs and different styles from Bach to the Beatles. Britton, who is also the music director, said she chooses the music the band plays at concerts and she leads the rehearsals.
“I pitched a lot of music that I really like and a song that sticks out is ‘Michelle’ by the Beatles with a French horn solo,” Britton said. “It is hard and scary but also exciting.”
Each of the five musicians in the quintet joined the Air Force at different times and has had different experiences in their career. Cisar said he was able to see the world, discover new cultures and share his passion for music while working for the Air Force.
Rattay said he gained a lot of experience while working for the Air Force and he went into very diverse assignments since he joined the military in 2000. He said he played at different ceremonies to honor American soldiers and overseas.
“I’ve been on one deployment where we did 52 performances in a 70 days tour throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar,” Rattay said. “It was neat to be able to play for the troops.”
Fahrenbacher, said he has been in the Air Force for only seven months, but even in this short time he was able to perform at different events.
In November, Fahrenbacher played with the U.S. Air Force Band stationed in Washington, D.C, he said.
“We performed at the Thanksgiving parade and I marched with 99 people down the street of New York City for two and a half miles,” he said. “There were millions of people shouting and supporting the Air Force, it was pretty exciting.”